By Mark Hodge @Mrhodgey

Two hungry lions get a taste of their own medicine after being charged at by a ‘cocky' hippo

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Defying the odds: Despite being outnumbered, the brave hippo stands its ground

The incredible pictures show the pair of hungry adolescent cats attempting to hunt the much larger mammal.

But the hippo dramatically turns the tables on the young predators and sends them scarpering with a ferocious charge.

Not a roaring success: The pair of adolescent lions are taught a valuable lesson by the larger mammal

The altercation was captured by researcher Brent Stapelkamp in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.

Snapper Brent, 37, has been studying the activities and behaviour of lions in the reserve for years.

The young lions fail miserably in their attempt to hunt the large beast

He said: “The two male lions in the photos are just three-years-old and left their pride a few days before these shots were taken.

The hippo calf does not seem fazed by the threat of the lions

“As far as we can tell they have not eaten anything since they left and this incident was probably their first try at self-catering.

“The lions attempted to catch the large calf, but the hippo quickly ran to the safety of the water.

Cat calamity: The bumbling duo attempting to hunt the tough hippo

“As the lions walked away the cocky hippo showed them who’s boss and charged right back at the two cats causing them to scatter.”

Home turf: The hippo takes refuge in the water in the Hwange National Park

Brent explained that as the pair of lions mature they will become more adept at hunting prey.

He said: “As brothers these two will no doubt stick together in their dispersal and form a coalition which has a better chance of securing territory.

Scaredy cats: The lions clearly lack the killer instinct to take down such a big animal

“They will soon learn that rather than catching large prey like this hippo calf, they are probably better off eating warthogs and young giraffe first.

Jaws the revenge: The hippo easily takes charge of the situation

“The hippo was actually not scared at all, no doubt secure in the knowledge that mum was just meters away ready to help out.”